Can sailing become less white??

nolatom

Super Anarchist
3,522
560
New Orleans
Yeah, from the front page, and Ed's lament thereon:

https://sailinganarchy.com/2021/12/07/circle-jerk-3/

Not a new topic, it comes up from time to time, typically without getting any real traction.

So, how to do it? 

Invite your nonwhite friends (you do have some, right?) out for a sail.  Repeat frequently.

Support community sailing centers, where you can get out and sail without a ton of money, and get lessons as needed.  Talk it up to anyone with cred in the, uh, nonsailing community, who can maybe make part of the learning a STEM-related learning thing for geometry and trig for the high-schoolers, and talk sailing up generally with friends who would not have considered it otherwise.

Start young, with middle and high-schoolers.

Growing up, I didn't give it much thought.  And in Marblehead in the '50s and 60s, there were no black residents at all living there. And the yacht clubs--it was news when the Eastern YC accepted their first--wait for it--Catholic member.  And the Dolphin was the Jewish Yacht Club.

New Orleans is a much more target-rich environment, half the city and most of the political class is of color. And still we haven't made much progress.  I hope that changes, and we get more folks at the community sailing facility.  It is starting to happen.

Stay tuned...

 
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sailman

Super Anarchist
8,290
416
Portsmouth, RI
Why?  Diversity for diversity sake?  There are local community sailing programs here that have minority participation but just like in College sailing the follow on is not there.  
If it is your goal then work towards it on your boat.  

 

Steam Flyer

Super Anarchist
41,233
8,123
Eastern NC
Yeah, from the front page, and Ed's lament thereon:

https://sailinganarchy.com/2021/12/07/circle-jerk-3/

Not a new topic, it comes up from time to time, typically without getting any real traction.

So, how to do it? 

Invite your nonwhite friends (you do have some, right?) out for a sail.  Repeat frequently.

Support community sailing centers, where you can get out and sail without a ton of money, and get lessons as needed.  Talk it up to anyone with cred in the, uh, nonsailing community, who can maybe make part of the learning a STEM-related learning thing for geometry and trig for the high-schoolers, and talk sailing up generally with friends who would not have considered it otherwise.

Start young, with middle and high-schoolers.

Growing up, I didn't give it much thought.  And in Marblehead in the '50s and 60s, there were no black residents at all living there. And the yacht clubs--it was news when the Eastern YC accepted their first--wait for it--Catholic member.  And the Dolphin was the Jewish Yacht Club.

New Orleans is a much more target-rich environment, half the city and most of the political class is of color. And still we haven't made much progress.  I hope that changes, and we get more folks at the community sailing facility.  It is starting to happen.

Stay tuned...
Build it and they will come. It's fun.

P1120759op1+workday+beginners.jpg


High school junior ROTC sailing class. This was at the end of the semester, their task is de-rigging the boats and getting them ready for winter. Not sure you can see the human mix, but almost every ethnicity is represented here. We don't recruit, we just show them the boats and make sure they don't hurt themselves (or each other).

- DSK

 
Why?  Diversity for diversity sake?  There are local community sailing programs here that have minority participation but just like in College sailing the follow on is not there.  
If it is your goal then work towards it on your boat.  
 Then don't do it for diversity's sake, do it for the sport of sailing's sake.  If sailing is "a rich white person's sport", the sport, and market, will continue to shrink and die... the sport, and the market will benefit from more people involved.  More people buying boats, more people sailing, more people racing.  The biggest source of untapped people to recruit happens to be all the under-represented people... be it gender, race, economic class, etc., etc.,... 

It's perfectly possible to take a "I'll do it only because it benefits me" stance in broadening sailing's appeal.  If you have to do that.

Otherwise this sport will continue to be just white grapes withering on the vine until it slowly dies because only the rich white people care.

 
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fastyacht

Super Anarchist
12,872
2,559
It already is. Just looking in the wrong places.

18_04_27-Bahamian-National-Regatta-A-Class-0267-1-620x350.jpg


NETHRA-KUMANAN-D_opt.jpg


yandy45352.jpg


(cultural dissonance exists in sailing pictures)

"International Maxi Association" white? You don't say? I just NEVER would have thought that. NEVER. So Utterly shocked.

 

crashtack

Member
474
349
For people who proclaim to be post-racist, californians sure do obsess over race a lot. Why does it matter what color is sailing boats? The barrier to entry in the sport (in the US) is generally wealth, and not skin tone - focus on that.

 
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sailman

Super Anarchist
8,290
416
Portsmouth, RI
 Then don't do it for diversity's sake, do it for the sport of sailing's sake.  If sailing is "a rich white person's sport", the sport, and market, will continue to shrink and die... the sport, and the market will benefit from more people involved.  More people buying boats, more people sailing, more people racing.  The biggest source of untapped people to recruit happens to be all the under-represented people... be it gender, race, economic class, etc., etc.,... 

It's perfectly possible to take a "I'll do it only because it benefits me" stance in broadening sailing's appeal.  If you have to do that.

Otherwise this sport will continue to be just white grapes withering on the vine until it slowly dies because only the rich white people care.
There are plenty of rich people but they are outnumbered by regular sailors that belong to low key clubs through out the Country.  Forcing diversity will fail and further divide the community.  

 

fastyacht

Super Anarchist
12,872
2,559
For people who proclaim to be post-racist, californians sure do obsess over race a lot. Why does it matter what color is sailing boats? The barrier to entry in the sport is generally wealth, and not skin tone.
It isn't the color. It is the class. We know that sailing is perceived as classist. Frankly so is big game sport fishing. Or playing the oboe. Well maybe on that last part. Triangle? Definitely class.

I think the bigger challenge to sailing is the same as the challenge to so many other non-powered pasttimes. In the US anyway, Petroleum Pastimes are not merely dominant, they are hegemonic. This crosses classes and in fact the "lower" classes tend to be arguably even more enthralled with them. Go out on pretty much any river anywhere in the U.S. Who is NOT in a motorboat? Well to do or college bound kids and college athletes. (oarswomen). What are the spanish speaking people doing? Running jetskis. What does EVERYBODY do in Florida? Get in a motorboat on Sat and go run through the inlet (or not) and fish (or not). Just that the rich ones do it in a Buddy Davis or a Merritt and the working guys do it in a used Bayliner.

 
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fastyacht

Super Anarchist
12,872
2,559
There are plenty of rich people but they are outnumbered by regular sailors that belong to low key clubs through out the Country.  Forcing diversity will fail and further divide the community.  
The facts and the perception are miles apart. You are correct that most sailboat racing is in inland waters carried out by people of modest means sailing mostly unballasted sailing dinghies or scows. And this sailing is really at the heart and soul of one design racing. Yet we tend to be paying attention to the coasts. Why is that? I live on a coast. Oh. There's that.

 
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robalex117

Super Anarchist
It isn't the color. It is the class. We know that sailing is perceived as classist. Frankly so is big game sport fishing. Or playing the oboe. Well maybe on that last part. Triangle? Definitely class.

I think the bigger challenge to sailing is the same as the challenge to so many other non-powered pasttimes. In the US anyway, Petroleum Pastimes are not merely dominant, they are hegemonic. This crosses classes and in fact the "lower" classes tend to be arguably even more enthralled with them. Go out on pretty much any river anywhere in the U.S. Who is NOT in a motorboat? Well to do or college bound kids and college athletes. What are the spanish speaking people doing? Running jetskis. What does EVERYBODY do in Florida? Get in a motorboat on Sat and go run through the inlet (or not) and fish (or not). Just that the rich ones do it in a Buddy Davis or a Merritt and the working guys do it in a used Bayliner.

https://nolacommunitysailing.org



Welcome to Community Sailing New Orleans

 

 


 
The Libby and Robert Alexander Sailing Center
 

 


 
Eliminating the economic and physical obstacles to sailing for all in the greater New Orleans area.
 

leeava

New member
17
6
 Then don't do it for diversity's sake, do it for the sport of sailing's sake.  If sailing is "a rich white person's sport", the sport, and market, will continue to shrink and die... the sport, and the market will benefit from more people involved.  More people buying boats, more people sailing, more people racing.  The biggest source of untapped people to recruit happens to be all the under-represented people... be it gender, race, economic class, etc., etc.,... 

It's perfectly possible to take a "I'll do it only because it benefits me" stance in broadening sailing's appeal.  If you have to do that.

Otherwise this sport will continue to be just white grapes withering on the vine until it slowly dies because only the rich white people care.
Do you think NBA or NFL players are expressing Black guilt over their sports take over? Are Brokers denying them from purchasing Boats? Are the Boat owners having clandestine meetings I am not aware of?

Most owners I know are always in the pursuit of crew and are willing to teach. 

 

crashtack

Member
474
349
It isn't the color. It is the class. We know that sailing is perceived as classist. Frankly so is big game sport fishing. Or playing the oboe. Well maybe on that last part. Triangle? Definitely class.

I think the bigger challenge to sailing is the same as the challenge to so many other non-powered pasttimes. In the US anyway, Petroleum Pastimes are not merely dominant, they are hegemonic. This crosses classes and in fact the "lower" classes tend to be arguably even more enthralled with them. Go out on pretty much any river anywhere in the U.S. Who is NOT in a motorboat? Well to do or college bound kids and college athletes. What are the spanish speaking people doing? Running jetskis. What does EVERYBODY do in Florida? Get in a motorboat on Sat and go run through the inlet (or not) and fish (or not). Just that the rich ones do it in a Buddy Davis or a Merritt and the working guys do it in a used Bayliner.
I think its a cultural phenomenon as much as a class phenomenon. You are much more likely to take up an activity if your family/cohort is participating, and sailing/rowing/lacrosse/etc. are WASP-y pastimes in the US.

You want diversity? Focus on providing more opportunities for college sailors after graduation - college sailing is the most "equitable" and "diverse" niche of the sport in the US and introduces a lot of unlikely people to sailing, yet there is massive dropoff after the fact because there's just no good continuation.

 
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There are plenty of rich people but they are outnumbered by regular sailors that belong to low key clubs through out the Country.  Forcing diversity will fail and further divide the community.  
I agree that the majority of sailors out there today are low key, etc., but in my area, and the groups I'm involved in, both small inland small cat racing and larger multi and monohull sailing on California coastal waters, it's frankly mostly reasonably-well-to-do white folk.  Like me, to be honest.  And most of them/me are getting to be on the older side.  The lack of new blood in sailing is a common discussion point and complaint on these forums. To participate, you have to have the time, which means not working three jobs or be worrying about paying for the $75 in gas it will take to get to an crew an event, never mind the $$$$$ of owning your own boat.

One of the fleets I'm involved in has put in effort into outreach to areas that we wouldn't "traditionally" think of as sailors in the context of this conversation, and have had at least a little success in bringing in and including new blood to keep the fleet healthy and even slowly growing.  Not perfect, but a start.

Another group I'm part of has, if anything, tightened ranks due to the unfortunate political perspectives of some of the leadership, and will likely soon die with them.   

"Forcing" diversity isn't the point.  I agree that forcing people to do things tends to work poorly, and not get the result you're looking for.  On the other hand, being inclusive (and, ironically, not tolerating those who are not... which can be seen as "forcing"... but it's not...) tends to over time bring in more people, who in turn have friends, etc., and leads to a more vibrant and healthy community.  

Edit to add:  I'm a very tolerant person.  I like catamaran or trimaran sailors, and even windersurfers.  Kite sailors are pushing it, but ok in my book.  The people I really can't tolerate are the people who put a huge hunk of weight on the bottom of the boat because they're not able to keep it pointy side up  without it, and going fast scares them.  Those people aren't real sailors, and I can't stand them.  I mean, who can stand at a bar after a race and be PROUD of the fact that they hit 10 knts?  Jeez.  Get these people out of sailing.  Maybe a lay-z-boy would be more their speed?  That's the kind of intolerance I'm willing to tolerate. :)

Edited again to add, because it's my second gin and tonic: so much of this is about perception.  From the mythical FP post that started it... the commercial face of sailing, and the faces people see on the crappy television coverage that happens, don't make the majority of people in the US think, "Oh, that's me, I could do that, that looks like a fun sport.  I wonder if I could try that around here?"  They think, "Oh look, that billionaire who owns Oracle had enough money to buy some English guy to drive his boat for him.  He's pushing buttons.  I wonder what's on the History Channel?" 

 
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sidmon

Super Anarchist
1,176
120
Chicago
(FWIW I am African American - but since I don't look like it - have been called 'Cracker' more than once here in Chicago...but I digress.)

This is about breaking cultural barriers more than overcoming any imagined "Systemic Racism"

Jackson Park Yacht Club is doing great work. These kinds of efforts need to be expanded...



The Sea Leavens The Petty Disputes Of Man

 
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